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Blue Jackets Links

Blue Jackets: 0 ... Wild: 5

Saturday, October 14, 2006
I will now sum up my feelings throughout tonight's game through image memes, courtesy of Macrochan (warning: not all images at MC are worksafe, to any of you who go snooping around my favorite image macro site).

End of the first period:
So the first period starts well enough. Back and forth play, Nash gets two different awesome chances to score on the Wild, but both just aren't able to connect. The only real probably is that [expletive] of a neutral zone clogging plan that Jacques Lemaire has a raging hard-on for (then again being a former Devils' fan, I'm not one to talk). Then, somewhere near the latter part of the first period the Wild strike first, Rolston beating Leclaire. Not the best way to wrap up the first period, and it leaves you with a dirty taste in your mouth.

End of the second period:
Who the Hell do you think you are, Zherdev!? Freakin' Wayne Gretzky?! I couldn't keep track of how many times that Zherdev tried to do his one-man coast to coast skating, only to have a Wild player easily flick their stick and knock the puck away from a charging Zherdev before he could so much as get anywhere near the net for a shot. Let's not forget how shoddy the defense was around poor Leclaire. While he certainly had his own share of the blame for tonight's goal-fest by the Wild, at least two of the goals on him were just impossible to deal with, including a 2-on-1 that sent Leclaire, in vain, diving from post to post to make the save ... and not managing to do so.

The only good thing to come out of the second period? I finally got to see Fredrik Norrena in action for the first time as he made his debut. How would I sum up his play style? The word "unique" comes to mind thanks his fearlessness in sprawling, throwing himself around, and using his stick to surprise the opposing players. He stick checked at least 3-4 times in this game.

End of the third period:
Yeah, sure. Okay. Start going for the goon angle and picking fights. Shelly I expected it -- no, hoped for it -- from. But Adam Foote and that double minor? Come on, man. You're the Captain of this team. Regardless of whether or not the Wild's win was in the bag by the time you got hit with that penalty in the latter half of the third period, it was a boneheaded move and just caused a lot of frustration.

Norrena gives up his first goal in the NHL, largely in part because the team was down 5-on-3 at the time it was scored. The rest of the game somewhere around the 5:00 mark or so was spent watching the Wild play keepaway with the puck, and the Jackets maybe getting a few opportunities in the Wild zone just because the Wild didn't really feel like stopping them that late into the game.

So what did we learn here? Well, first and foremost, the Blue Jackets sat around like sad sacks most of the game, letting the Wild manhandle them in several different ways in the second period. Secondly? When up against a legitimate penalty kill, they didn't hold a candle to it. Lastly? While I understand Gallant's desire to try and find something that will click when mixing and changing the lines when down in a hole, there seemed to just be too much shuffling of the deck. It almost, to me, seemed like the more shuffling that was done throughout the second period, the worse it got.

In any event, just how much of this was rust? Look ... "rust", to me, is losing 3-2, or maybe even 4-2, if you're a decent team and all. But this? This was just getting slapped around by the Western Conference's current king of the mountain.

So just how much will this "rust" have an effect on the Jackets when they next play, a near whole week from now on Friday against the Maple Leafs? Guess we'll find out then, huh?
  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    I just love that Linkin Park picture because I went to high school around the time they were popular and understand EXACTLY what you mean :P

  • At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Bob said…

    You thought Foote was somewhat irresponsible, eh? This is a man who thinks pre-season games are an option, so what did you expect? And by the way, at least Zherdev was trying. I thought many of the Jackets mailed it in last night, believing that the Wild would be afraid to show up.

    We won't know for another 10 games or so what kind of team this is. The Wild was their first good opponent. Vancouver is middle of the pack, and Chicago and Phoenix could challenge for an AHL championship.

  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Michael Turner said…


    Bob - The problem with Z is that it seemed like he was trying too hard. Really, I commend him for having the motivation to try and take down the Wild as a one-man Ukranian hot knife through butter, but it didn't work the several times he tried. He still has to work on team play when in those 5-on-5 situations. At least on the PP he's actively getting involved as a team member and not an individual, it seems.

  • At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Bob said…

    Can you make a case for many of the Jackets playing a team game last night? Even David Vyborny, the real MVP of the team, was going through the motions in the third period. But what about my point on the defense? We have real trouble getting it out of our zone. Were you at the Vancouver game? It looked like they put a fence up at the red line.

    Zherdev is a talent, but he needs to be coached, which has not happened here in Columbus. Yes, there are plenty of times when he thinks he is skating through pylons, but at least he does something. And if he were that much of a liability, he wouldn't get any passes.

  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Ski said…

    Last night was definately disappointing. Hopefully it was one of those learning things. Unfortunately they have another huge break. I don't get this NHL scheduling. There are so many games to play in the season, hard to understand why a team would have two such long breaks in action, and in a row. Later they'll get worn out playing too many in a row.

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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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